E-commerce Website 101: Everything to Learn to Start Your Online Business

3 min read


Building an e-commerce website is deemed as a trend when it comes to doing online businesses today. With the number of individuals engaging to this type of business, setting up a website is now made simpler with all the available resources online and affordable services.

Planning to start your own online business through e-commerce? Just like any business opportunity, studying about building your website is the first step to set your expectations and understanding how e-commerce systems work.

Why build an e-commerce page?

Standing out amidst the competition will ensure your success in the industry. Excelling often requires promoting a unique product that you manufactured yourself. Sell them through your online store will launch your brand and start establishing your client list.

Essential elements in starting an e-commerce site

Several elements are important in kickstarting your e-commerce business. The following are the crucial components you should have before starting in this industry.

  • Website for the shop
  • A reliable webhost
  • Shopping cart system
  • Merchant account
  • Platform for credit card processing

Understand the importance of a website and a webhost

It’s obvious that owning a website is the first step in engaging in any type of online business. However, the core of building your website is searching for a reliable webhost. A webhost a service provider offering servers, a remote storage for keeping website files. Without a trusted host, your website won’t be broadcasted online.

The search for the best webhost

Several technical plan details serve as considerations in choosing the right webhost for your site. Examples of these are storage capacity, bandwidth limits, email accounts supported, and plan rates. Technical support also plays a crucial role in choosing a webhost since it will be around when problems occur in the website.

Get to know what these essentials mean for your website as inspiration in finding the right host for your site:

  • Storage space. Also known as disk space, storage space capacity is probably the least element to consider unless you plan of building a highly interactive online store. Just like in computers, larger server capacity lets you store more files and support more programs. Look for a host with expandable server space to accommodate future expansion.
  • Bandwidth capacity. This is the amount of data transferred from the server to a viewer’s browser. You must be particular in checking for this element since using the entire bandwidth limit will affect traffic for people visiting your site.
  • Technical support. Servers problems or inconsistencies may occur on your website. A technical support representative from your webhost can answer your questions about website problems, whether it’s on the host’s end or an issue on your page’s configuration. The webhost should have several means like email, chat or phone.
  • Email account support. An email bearing your brand’s name or domain name is significant in working on your business. A hosted email promotes reliability and brand. This service lets you create several accounts for contact and your staff’s email accounts.

After understanding their importance, it’s time to consider the amount of money to spend on these services. Naturally, you’re after a cheaper plan, but you must keep these essentials in mind. Going for the cheapest plans isn’t the best practice since they often have a catch, which is usually low quality service.

Searching online will introduce you to the concept of dedicated servers. It grants clients their own server disks, in which they can use the entire server space. However, this is not a recommendable solution for every website owner due to dedicated server plans’ prices. Client-focused business owners will benefit from this hosting service.

Famous brands like BlueHost is known for offering reliable hosting services at affordable prices that even starting business owners like you will afford. They offer high quality SSL encryption that protects buyers’ credit card and personal accounts. Seeing that your site’s URL has a lock icon makes customers safe while shopping on your site.

Several recommended webhosts

To narrow down your options, here is a list of webhosts that gained positive feedbacks due to their services and prices:

  • BlueHost. Free setup with unlimited webhost essentials with affordable plans.
  • iPage. Money back guarantee anytime.
  • InMotion. Received an enormous number of positive reviews and with 24/7 customer support.
  • FatCow. Hassle-free and budget-friendly pricing for a yearly plan.

Shopping cart program

Shopping cart and related programs make online shopping more convenient for buyers. These are imperative elements on your e-commerce site. Customers will put their chosen products in the cart, which is powered by shopping cart software. This cart will also be used in calculating transaction fees, taxes and shipping fees. From the cart, credit card payments will be processed through the credit card processing software. A merchant account works as your bank account online.

Choosing the best CMS

A CMS or content management system supports e-commerce necessary in running your online store. Selecting the best CMS platform according to your requirements and preferences assure smooth transactions for everyone and maintenance.

Here are several, commonly used CMS solutions for e-commerce sites:

  • WordPress. Many website owners choose WordPress or WP as their sites’ platform because of its offered functionality. It’s famous for having an easy to maintain blogging platform and e-commerce plugins. In fact, you can choose from a wide array of plugins for e-commerce that you’re comfortable using.
  • Magento. Magento is also a leading e-commerce platform with its effective features designed for every online store. It’s fairly easy to use although novice internet sellers may find it challenging at first. The good thing is that its developers have training modules that teaches everyone in using it for their website.
  • Squarespace. Flaunting its easy to use platform, Squarespace makes its way to e-commerce entrepreneurs’ heart with its interface. Its downside, however, is the lack of feature that supports PayPal integration.
  • Shopify. Just like Squarespace, Shopify is easy to use and setup. Even with its simplified platform, it’s designed when to handle an extensive amount of volume, which is recommended for a shop getting popular online.

Establishing an e-commerce website can be intimidating at first, but it’s simpler than what you expect. A lot of solutions from webhosts to e-commerce platforms are available for you online, with remarkable customer support that you’ll certainly like.

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